The University Grants Commission (UGC) has conferred autonomy upon a host of legal institutions, including four national law universities (NLUs).
Among the sixty universities/colleges granted autonomy are National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad; National Law University, Delhi; National Law University, Odisha; Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (RGNUL), Patiala; Indian Law Institute (ILI); and OP Jindal Global University, of which Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) forms a part.
As per the UGC Guidelines for Autonomous Colleges, 2017, the criteria for eligibility include the requirement of having existed for more than ten years, an ‘A’ grade accreditation by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), less than 10% faculty employed on a contractual basis, etc. Other criteria for granting autonomy include academic reputation, research achievements of faculty, quality and merit of students, adequacy of infrastructure, hostel facilities, etc.
These institutes will now have autonomy over their functioning; they are empowered with designing their own courses of study, prescribing rules for admission, and setting methods of assessment and examination rules.
Additionally, they will receive financial assistance from the UGC for funding workshops and seminars, furniture for office and classrooms, library equipment, renovation and repairs not leading to construction of a new building, office equipment, teaching aids and guest/visiting faculty, among others.
The amount of grant money can go up to Rs. 20 lakh, for both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The same cannot be used for creation of posts or for payment of salary to any of the college staff.
JGU is one of only two private universities to be granted autonomy. In an email, Prof C Raj Kumar, Dean of the University stated,
“This is the most amazing achievement of JGU since its inception on 30th September 2009. On behalf of our Founding Chancellor, Mr. Naveen Jindal and my own behalf, I would like to congratulate all the stakeholders of JGU, including the faculty members, students, staff, alumni, parents and indeed the state Government of Haryana, and other government and regulatory bodies for this extraordinary recognition.
It is truly remarkable that JGU could attain this distinction in barely 8 years when many universities could take even decades to complete the NAAC accreditation process, let alone receive the distinction of the A+ grade…”